Michael Bluhm, center, is touted to help lead a talented class of Lion runners this season.

The Lackawanna Trail cross country team is ready to hit the ground running.

Though the program has suffered the loss of eight seniors, Coach Keith Youtz has numbers on his roster, including five runners in their last season for the Lions.

“We lost three of our top four girls from last year, and half of our top boys,” said Youtz. “We only have around 20 total runners right now. We might be able to get a few more when school starts.”

The Lions are coming off of an average season where they sent one representative to the state competition.

He returns seven varsity starters from last season, two girls and five boys.

“We have been running three days a week once Lackawanna County went green. The highest number of runners we had any one day was eight. The previous years would have been in the 20s,” he added.

Youtz will look towards incoming freshman Brayden Clarke to make an impact on the Lions boys’ team, which he expects to win around half of the meets.

The girls team, however, is in dire need of numbers.

Youtz said, “For a small school, we have numbers on the boys side. We are low in numbers for the girls. We don’t have many runners who have a chance to go to states.”

“If we have a district meet or state meet it’s going to be difficult for any of our runners to make it. We need to see how the season plays out,” he clarified.

“We are in Division 2, eight teams and most of the schools are around our size,” he explained. While he is focusing on conditioning during practices, Youtz also wants the athletes to take away discipline, enjoyment of running with others, competition, and fitting in socially.

Roster:Seniors Paige Carpenter, Bill Edwards, William Filan, Kyle Petrilak, and JJ Sharpe. Juniors Michael Bluhm, Cole Henry, Michael Measley, Amaralis Thiel, Maria Wetzel, and Mason Zajac. Sophomores Max Bluhm, Abby Fahey, Ethan Lee, Deegan Ross, Seth Ross, Jackie Schneider, and Beau Ware. Freshmen Brayden Clarke, Mikayla Measley, and Ryan Semon.

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